Geneva, Switzerland – April 22, 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented global threat to the safe and effective care for children with cancer. As an official non-state actor with WHO and one of the major stakeholders in the WHO “Global Initiative on Childhood Cancer”, the International Society for Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) recognised that there was an urgent need amongst health care professionals and families for informed guidance on the range of reasonable and safe adaptations to their services and cancer treatment, while protecting the health and safety of staff, patients and families. “We want to enable our colleagues around the world to be able to help and guide their patients and families affected by COVID-19 through informed decision making,” said Professor Kathy Pritchard-Jones, SIOP President.
SIOP has successfully led the coordination and development of a rapid global response for children and adolescents with cancer. With contributions from 65 authors worldwide, the disease-specific and discipline-specific tables and guidance, titled “The COVID-19 PANDEMIC: A Rapid Global Response for Children with Cancer from SIOP, COG, SIOP-E, SIOP-PODC, IPSO, PROS, CCI and St Jude Global,” is published today.
This publication aims to provide pragmatic solutions for the problems facing our medical and nursing colleagues who care for children with cancer, regardless of where they live. The publications supports the growing momentum on early diagnosis initiatives as well as the governments’ efforts to implement the World Health Organization’s “Global Initiative on Childhood Cancer” goal to reach at least a 60% survival rate for children with cancer by 2030.
As the only global multidisciplinary professional society entirely devoted to paediatric and adolescent cancer, SIOP strongly believes that the guidance in this publication will help our colleagues to improve the situation for children with cancer in these unprecedented times. Through global collaboration, education, training, research and advocacy, SIOP seeks to advance our vision that “no child should die of cancer.”
We would also like to express our sincerest gratitude to all authors who contributed to the development of the publication, as well to the leadership of the principal child cancer organisations including SIOP-Europe, the Children’s Oncology Group, SIOP-PODC, IPSO, PROS and St. Jude Global, who formed ten disease and specialty working groups, together with input from parents’ representatives from Childhood Cancer International, for their personal time investment to meet virtually and work together on this publication.